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Samsung to Only Be Charged $923 for Gas Leak?

Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports that Samsung will only be fined one million Won (roughly $923 USD) for allegedly delaying the report of a gas leak that took place on Sunday through early Monday. This fine will be applied to both Samsung and its subcontractor STI Service for violating a law that states that chemical leaks must be "promptly" reported.

"We are investigating in four different ways to determine the exact amount of leaked gas, the secondary damage, how the incident was handled by the firms afterward, and the relevant law," an official said. It will take up to two weeks to figure everything out, the official added, and that "someone died due to poor administration."

What actually happened at Samsung's Hwaseong semiconductor facility, located just south of Seoul, is unknown due to conflicting reports stemming from Korea. But Yonhap News stated that up to 10 liters of diluted hydrofluoric acid leaked from one of the pipes around 1:20 pm on Sunday. A five-member maintenance crew from STI Service was called in to begin repair work later on at 11:00pm.

Samsung reportedly didn't inform the proper authorities about the leak until more than a full day after the one of the contractors died (identified as "Park") in the hospital due to overexposure to the poisonous gas. He was reportedly not wearing a full hazmat suit, whereas the other four who were later discharged from the hospital were wearing their full protective gear.

"A small amount of diluted hydrofluoric acid leaked early Monday morning during maintenance at one of the gas and chemical supply systems at the Hwaseong site," Samsung officially stated. The situation was contained and production was not affected, the company added.

Initial footage pulled from closed-circuit television revealed Park entering the gas-filled room without protective clothing save for a gas mask. Family members have raised doubts over claims that Park wasn't wearing protective clothing, and the results of the autopsy won't be ready for another one or two weeks.

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  • neon neophyte
    900 hundred dollars has nothing to do with the death of someone. It is a preliminary amount. A full investigation is still being conducted.

    "Just over $900 seems like a small fine for the death of a contractor within Samsung's semiconductor facility." First line of the article, in bold.

    Why are you lying and manipulating? Seems rather unprofessional.
    Reply
  • quick!! everyone! defend samsung from incoming iFanboy attacks!!
    Reply
  • virtualban
    If a gas leak is not reported in a mom-and-pop shop, same danger overall, just small scale company, should the small shop be fined the millions of dollars Samsung appears was expected to be fined?
    I am not expressing my opinion now, I am just asking a question, while I debate the answer within myself too.
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    The fine isn't what I care about it is the loss of human life where my concern is. Why was this lone person not in a hazmat suit when the others were? It just seems so irresponsible on everyone's part from his own to his co-workers for letting him. It seems highly unlikely that he was ordered to go in there without one and even if that was the case he would be insane for following that order. Would any of you? I sure the heck wouldn't. If I was one of those four in one I would have told him to go and even dragged his ass out by force if I had to which they should have done.
    Reply
  • nino_z
    I am sure they fined them as much as they could - i mean why not? It's not like the state likes certain companied and fines them less. You mess up - people will fine you. Trust me, the state will always take the maximum possible amound.
    Reply
  • joebob2000
    you mean one MILLION won isn't enough?
    Reply
  • wemakeourfuture
    nino_zI am sure they fined them as much as they could - i mean why not? It's not like the state likes certain companied and fines them less. You mess up - people will fine you. Trust me, the state will always take the maximum possible amound.
    There's countless examples of big business getting the minimum or rules bent because they're a large employer in a particular jurisdiction. Its dollars and politics.
    Reply
  • fuzzion
    I had a chemical gas leak in the elevator today ;)
    Reply
  • house70
    wemakeourfutureThere's countless examples of big business getting the minimum or rules bent because they're a large employer in a particular jurisdiction. Its dollars and politics.Correct about the bent rules/home field advantage.
    Remember the "fair" trial recently in Cupertino's back yard.

    In this case, however, it seems that the poor worker was not wearing a protective suit - WTF, playing Superman? The others were wearing them, meaning there was a policy as such in effect there. The fine was for delayed reporting - NOT for the accidental death of the worker, which the OP seems to conveniently imply. There is a standard fine and it was applied.
    Besides, in a case that gains such notoriety so quickly, openly protecting a company from the remainder of what you think would have been the full amount is professional suicide. There are other Korean companies that would have cried "foul" the very next moment, and that official that handed them the fine would have lost his/her job and any prospects of being hired in a trustworthy position. The successor would have corrected the "mistake" and applied the remainder of the amount promptly. It's not like this was a behind-the-curtains deal.
    It seems that the deceased chose to enter the contaminated area without the proper equipment. Heroics and industrial accidents don't mix well. Too bad for him and his family.
    Reply
  • house70
    neon neophyte900 hundred dollars has nothing to do with the death of someone. It is a preliminary amount. A full investigation is still being conducted."Just over $900 seems like a small fine for the death of a contractor within Samsung's semiconductor facility." First line of the article, in bold.Why are you lying and manipulating? Seems rather unprofessional.The OP is rather trolling us ( or, using this as trollbait), hoping to ignite a flame war. This is ALSO unprofessional. FlippyFlapquick!! everyone! defend samsung from incoming iFanboy attacks!!See what I mean? Got a bite already!
    Reply